|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays of Francis Bacon by Francis Bacon:
both the lion's whelp and the ass between bur-
thens; neither will it be, that a people overlaid
with taxes, should ever become valiant and mar-
tial. It is true that taxes levied by consent of the
estate, do abate men's courage less: as it hath been
seen notably, in the excises of the Low Countries;
and, in some degree, in the subsidies of England.
For you must note, that we speak now of the heart,
and not of the purse. So that although the same
tribute and tax, laid by consent or by imposing, be
all one to the purse, yet it works diversely upon the
Essays of Francis Bacon
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
forth to contemplate the heavens, and are borne round in the revolutions of
them. There they see the divine forms of justice, temperance, and the
like, in their unchangeable beauty, but not without an effort more than
human. The soul of man is likened to a charioteer and two steeds, one
mortal, the other immortal. The charioteer and the mortal steed are in
fierce conflict; at length the animal principle is finally overpowered,
though not extinguished, by the combined energies of the passionate and
rational elements. This is one of those passages in Plato which, partaking
both of a philosophical and poetical character, is necessarily indistinct
and inconsistent. The magnificent figure under which the nature of the
soul is described has not much to do with the popular doctrine of the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pupil by Henry James:
"He tries? Why he's twenty years old!" cried Mrs. Moreen.
"You're very witty," Pemberton remarked to the child - a
proposition his mother echoed with enthusiasm, declaring Morgan's
sallies to be the delight of the house.
The boy paid no heed to this; he only enquired abruptly of the
visitor, who was surprised afterwards that he hadn't struck him as
offensively forward: "Do you WANT very much to come?"
"Can you doubt it after such a description of what I shall hear?"
Pemberton replied. Yet he didn't want to come at all; he was
coming because he had to go somewhere, thanks to the collapse of
his fortune at the end of a year abroad spent on the system of
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Under the Andes by Rex Stout:
remain in San Francisco. She did so, but with an apparent effort.
I have never seen a creature so full of nervous energy and
fire; only by severe restraint could she force herself to even a
small degree of composure. Harry was with her nearly every minute,
though what they found to talk about was beyond my comprehension.
Neither was exactly bubbling over with ideas, and one cannot say "I
love you" for twenty-four hours a day.
It was a cool, sunny day in the latter part of October when we
weighed anchor and passed through the Golden Gate. I had leased
the yacht for a year, and had made alternative plans in case Le
Mire should tire of the sport, which I thought extremely probable.